Match Week 19
Fixture congestion at it’s finest this weekend with the annual New Year’s tradition. James Kempton is here to break it all down offering his best betting advice for the weekend slate.
Hull City v Everton
Everton -0.5 and 2.25 goals
The Toffees have won just one of their four EPL trips to the KC Stadium since September 2008 and there have been at least two goals in each of those matches. In fact all nine of the teams’ meetings in all competitions since that first game in Hull have seen at least two goals scored. Hull matched Man City for an hour on Boxing Day before the class shone through and it is hard to see the home team winning this game. To back a team plus half a goal I need to think they have a shot outright. This is a Friday Night Football game that if it was played at 3pm Saturday we’d all ignore. If you need to bet I’d lean under.
Burnley v Sunderland
Burnley -0.25 and 2.25 goals
The Clarets continue their strong home form as last time out they beat Sunderland’s north east rivals Middlesbrough. This is another game that the home team will have a big circle around in Sean Dyche’s office. My concern though is that it comes so soon after a similar game against Middlesbrough. How many consecutive games can you circle? Jermaine Defoe is a top quality player that should not be subjected to such a game and he may be the difference in this basement battle. I like Sunderland in this spot.
Chelsea v Stoke City
Chelsea -1.5 and 2.75 goals
Under 2.5 goals is 10-4 since August 2010 when these sides meet and before last seasons 1-1 draw in this fixture Chelsea had won nine straight at Stamford Bridge. Stoke showed glimmers in their outing at Anfield before they ended up on the wrong end of a 4-1 score line. Chelsea snuck past West Brom in a similar spot a few weeks ago and that puts me off backing the Blues in this spot. However, there is no way I can trust the away dog.
Leicester City v West Ham United
Leicester -0.25 and 2.5 goals
Over 2.5 goals is 6-1 in all competitions when the sides meet since October 2011. Last season all three meetings of the sides went over the total with Yes on Both Teams To Score landing in each match. Both teams are different animals this season to those that took the field in the 2015-16 season. Again I have just a tentative lean and this time it’s to the away side.
Manchester United v Middlesbrough
Manchester United -1.5 and 2.75 goals
The United renaissance is in full effect now at Old Trafford and suddenly there are murmurings of a title challenge being mounted by the Red Devil’s. Very gradually Boro are sliding into a relegation dogfight and I will take the home team to get the job done and cover once more.
Southampton v West Bromwich Albion
Southampton -0.75 and 2.25 goals
The Saints won this fixture 3-0 last season and the Baggies have failed to score in five of the last six meetings of the teams. No on Both Teams To Score is 8-0 in EPL matches between the sides since November 2012. West Brom have had fifty hours extra rest than their hosts for this game and on this line it could be a telling stat. I will take the Baggies plus three quarters in what should be a low scoring encounter.
Swansea City v Bournemouth
PK and 2.5 goals
Thankfully for all concerned Bob Bradley was put out of his misery after a horrific spell in charge at the Liberty Stadium. Games between the sides last season saw plenty of goals as this game finished two apiece with Bournemouth winning the return fixture 3-2 on the south coast. The ‘locker room’ should have a more business like feel in the run up to this game as Swansea need to stem the bleeding. Home team or pass.
Liverpool v Manchester City
Liverpool -0.25 and 2.75 goals
There have been at least two goals in all but one of the sides’ last fifteen meetings and over 2.5 goals is on a 8-0 run when they face off in EPL action. Despite their recent EPL dominance in terms of league positions over the Reds, City’s last win at Anfield came in May 2003. The atmosphere at Anfield in these sorts of games seems to lift the home players and once again this is a night game under lights at one of the greatest football grounds in the world. With the goal line at 2.75 I like the over as with Sergio Aguero back for City I see neither side being able to keep a clean sheet.
Watford v Tottenham Hotspur
Spurs -0.75 and 2.5 goals
Tottenham won this fixture 2-1 last season and also emerged victorious in the return fixture at White Hart Lane thanks to a 1-0 win. At this price point though there is no appeal in this game as even though Spurs dished a beating out on Wednesday if Southampton had not scored so easily they may have easily ground out a much lower scoring victory.
Arsenal v Crystal Palace
Arsenal -1.5 and 3 goals
Prior to the 1-1 draw in this fixture last season Arsenal had won five straight EPL games between the sides and scored twice in each of those matches. Big Sam will make it tough for the Gooners just like he did when he was in charge at Bolton. This could be similar to the weekend match against West Brom where the Gunners only squeezed one over the line.